Turkish Warships On Bosphorus

The last few days we were able to witness a couple of Turkish warships on Bosphorus.

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A-579 TCG Cezayirli Hasan Paşa Photo: Yörük Işık. Used with permission.

The Rhein class tender, A-579 TCG Cezayirli Hasan Paşa is a ship with many missions. She and her sister TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa are used for the training cruises of midshipmen of Turkish Naval Academy. The two ships are also employed as flagships of fleets when necessary. TCG Cezayirli Hasan Paşa was the flag ship of NATO’s SNMCMG-2 in 2012.

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TCG Ç-138

TCG Ç-138 is one of the 13 landing craft build in 80′sand 90′s. The older landing craft is being replaced by the newer generation which is almost 10 knots faster than these old workhorses.

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P-305 TCG Ağ-5

TCG Ağ-5 stated her life as a boom vessel in 1960. She was constructed in Germany by US funding for Turkish Navy. Since anti submarine nets are soo out dated this ship is used for miscellaneous duties.

A Submarine Sighted

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A Turkish Type 209/1400 Preveze/Gür class submarine passing through the Bosphorus

Today on 19 March  2014, in the early morning hours, one Turkish Type 209 / 1400 class submarine sailed through Bosphorus to Marmara Sea. I want to hope that she has spent very busy days back in the Black Sea monitoring all the naval traffic and gathering intelligence. 

Since Turkish Navy stopped painting the pennant number of the submarines on their hulls, it is impossible to identify each individual submarine anymore. While this new painting scheme helps the submarines to blend and prevents IR/FLIR/LLTV using trackers or electro-optic directors any high contrast target, it makes ship spotting difficult.

With 6 Type 209/1200, 4 Type 209/1400 and 4 Modified Type 209/1400 class submarines in service, Turkey has the largest conventional submarine fleet in the NATO.

USS Taylor Passed Through Bosphorus Being Towed

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USS Taylor being towed by the tug Coastal Voyager. The tug Kurtaran 1 from Turkish Coastal Safety Agency is preventing the ship from drifting at the back. Turkish Coast Guard vessel TCSG-90 is providing security.

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This photo show the third tug, again from Turkish Coastal Safety Agency. She was on the starboard side of USS Taylor during her passage through Bosphorus, preventing the ship from drifting by the currents

The Arleigh Burke class destroyer DDG-103 USS Truxtun is the only US warship in the Black Sea as today with the southbound passage of FF(G)-50 USS Taylor through the Bosphorus.

The Perry class frigate was deployed to the Black Sea before the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games started. USS Taylor and the flag ship of the US 6th Fleet USS Mount Whitney were send to the Black Sea to help with the evacuation of US athletes and spectators in case of an terror attack to the Games.

USS Taylor had a grounding in Samsun harbour on 12 February 2014 as she arrived here for refueling. Her only propeller was damaged during the accident and all the work done to repair the ship turned out to be not effective.

US Navy contracted the company DonJon specialized in marine salvage and towing, to tow USS Taylor to Souda Crete where her propeller hub and blades will be replaced. 

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USS Truxtun Passed Through The Bosphorus

As reported few days ago by US Navy, the Arleigh Burke class destroyer DDG-103 USS Truxtun passed through the Turkish Straits on 7 March 2013 and entered the Black Sea.

According the official US Navy press release the destroyer is en route to conduct combined training and theater security cooperation engagements in the Black Sea with Romanian and Bulgarian Naval forces. USS Truxtun, the ship will conduct a port visit and routine, previously planned exercises with allies and partners in the region.

US Navy careful stresses that USS Truxtun‘s operations in the Black Sea were scheduled well in advance of her departure from the United States. But the political crisis between Russia and Ukraine over the fate of Crimea makes this deployment of USS Truxtun to the region a special one.

A strong storm front is coming from the north. In literary and figurative sense of the word USS Truxtun is sailing into a storm.

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Ms. Eser Çelebiler, kindly share her photos of the USS Truxtun as she passed through Bosphorus.
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Mr. Kerim Bozkurt, an invaluable contributor to this blog also shared his photos of the USS Truxtun as she passed through Bosphorus.
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Ukrainian Frigate Hetman Sahaidachny Passed Through Turkish Straits

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus.

The flagship of the Ukrainian Navy, the Krivak III (Project 1135.1) class frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passed through the Turkish Straits today and is now in the Black Sea. I have no information about her destination. It can be Sevastopol or Odessa. We will know better tomorrow.

The ship was doing anti piracy operations first with the CTF-151 and later with Operation Atalanta since September 2013.

A large Ukrainian flag was hoisted as she was passing through the Bosphorus contrary to the earlier reports that she has changed flags.  During her passage she was escorted by large patrol boat TCSG-90 from Turkish Coast Guard. Turkish Coast Guard vessels usually escort foreign warships during their passages through Turkish Straits.

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A few minutes later a Turkish Meko 200 class frigate TCG Yavuz passed through the Bosphorus and followed the Ukrainian warship towards the Black Sea.

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Turkish frigate F-240 TCG Yavuz sailing towards the Black Sea

I do not think that the Turkish warship was shadowing the Ukrainian frigate or escorting her, but the presence of the Turkish frigate was not a coincidence either.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus. Photos: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.


A group of Ukrainians were cheering as the flagship of their navy passed by them.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus. Photos: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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Ukrainian frigate Hetman Sahaidachny passing through the Bosphorus. Photos: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

USS Mount Whitney Left Istanbul

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The Blue Ridge class command and control ship LCC-20 USS Mount Whitney, leaving Istanbul, this morning.

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The Blue Ridge class command and control ship LCC-20 USS Mount Whitney, leaving Istanbul, this morning.

After a well deserved 3 day port visit in Istanbul at quarter to 9:00 am, the flagship of the 6. US Fleet, USS Mount Whitney left Istanbul heading towards the Mediterranean. This is the formal end of the US Navy’s Olympic Games Deployment.

USS Taylor is still in Samsun harbour in the meantime. The fate of the stricken frigate USS Taylor is still undecided. It is not clear how long the repair work will continue.

USS Mount Whitney In Istanbul

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After drawing endless circles in the water for 20 days between 4 and 24 February 2014, the flagship of the 6th US Navy Fleet, USS Mount Whitney have arrived in Istanbul.

To be honest I was expecting her to pass through the Bosphorus and head straight for Mediterranean but she is conducting a well deserved port visit in Istanbul. I am expecting the US Navy frigate USS Taylor to pass through the Bosphorus. She has turned her AIS transponder off, yesterday. This means that she has left Samsun and is underway towards Istanbul. It seems that the repair work done to her propeller has worked and she is  underway under her own power.

The quality of the photos of USS Mount Whitney left much to be desired but it was raining heavy as she passed where I was standing and there was a very bitter and strong north wind. If the weather improves tomorrow I might have some better photos.

 

 

Maltese Naval Forces

Being an island at the middle of the Mediterranean, the Maritime Squadron of Armed Forces of Malta has a wide range of duties, including coast guard, customs, marine police, fisheries protection and search and rescue.

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Melita 1, CP800 Vittoria Melita class search and rescue launch

P02

P02, Boomeranger class RHIB

P21

P21, P21 class inshore patrol vessel

P23

P23, P21 class inshore patrol vessel

P24

P24, P21 class inshore patrol vessel

P32

P32, Bremse class patrol boat

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P51, Protector class patrol boat

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P51, Protector class patrol boat

P52

P52, Protector class patrol boat

P61

P61, Diciotti class offshore patrol vessel. P61 is the flagship of Maltese Maritime Squadron.

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P61, Diciotti class offshore patrol vessel

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A RHIP of the Maltese Police.

HMS Daring In Malta

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Royal Navy Destroyer D-32 HMS Daring. Seen from a distance over 10 km.

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Royal Navy Destroyer D-32 HMS Daring. Seen from a distance over 10 km.

Yesterday, HMS Daring arrived in Malta with a very excellent timing, after a few hours I had to fly home.

The photo above was taken on 16 February 2014, over a very long distance as the destroyer was waiting for the right time to enter the Grand Harbour.

For a better photo of her visit: www.maltaspotting.com

USS Mount Whitney Back In The Mediterranean

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USS Mount Whitney in the middle of the Marmara Sea. I was 30 minutes too late.

After finishing her 15 day Odyssey in the Black Sea, the flag-ship of the US 6th Fleet, LCC-20 USS Mount Whitney passed through the Turkish Straits on 20 November 2013 and returned to the Mediterranean.

During her 15 days in the Black Sea she visited Burgas in Bulgaria, Batumi in Georgia  and Constanta in Romania and conducted small scale exercise with the local naval forces. 

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